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L'arri

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Re: Darkside - General news
« Reply #1110 on: October 29, 2014, 19:02 »
Péraud talks Dark Side ... some of his views seem clear enough ;)

Translation of extracts from an interview from October 23rd in Le Monde:

Jean-Christophe Péraud : « If you stop Astana, that's 30 more guys unemployed »

Is Nibali on a level above everyone?

Not everyone. Above me, yes. Froome and Contador were out with crashes, Quintana wasn't racing. Perhaps they would have rivalled him. I couldn't.

So what will you be able to do in the 2015 Tour?

In theory, I won't improve. If they got worse and I stayed at my level, then why not? But there isn't much chance of that. Technically or on how we run the race perhaps, but physically I can't do any better. I'm 37 years old.

Do you think there could be suspicions about you after the Tour?

In my case, no. As for the world of cycling, after what it's been through since 1998, I get it and it saddens me. But there has been some progress since. There's the longitudinal profiling, anti-doping controls and a lot of things have been put in place in cycling so that it gets better, and I think that's paying off. There's also a new generation of riders who started out around the time of Festina and who came up through the clubs with the understanding that doping is cheating. I wouldn't say that cycling is spotless but when I ask myself the question, I reckon 85% of the peloton is clean. I could be wrong, and there are still certainly cheaters, we've seen that with the Iglinskiys at Astana, but there are means to seek out and catch the cheats.

Have you ever had suspicions?

Sure. And I still do. A friend was at the Roc d'Azur event. He was eating behind some guys who were going to ride it and who were saying: "Péraud couldn't pull that off himself. He switched to the road so he could dope." Suspicion is easy. I used to think that myself when I was twenty and riding MTB. I was at my level, finishing 20th, not giving myself every means to succeed in terms of training, and I'd just say: "it can't be done, they're all dopers." It's easy just to say that everyone's cheating.

During the Tour, Nibali kept saying: "it's all in the past". And then a few weeks later, three positives hit his team. Is there a problem with Astana?

Hard to say and I wouldn't want to throw stones at Astana. We at AG2R-La Mondiale, we're hardly in the position to pass comment, we've had two positives in a year, pretty much, so I can hardly point the finger at Astana. With the Iglinskiys, it's two brothers and they used the same product, you could say it's almost the same case, it certainly doesn't look like organised doping. But I don't know what goes on in the Astana team. Do they have measures in their recruitment to avoid risky individuals?

Does it prejudice the credibility of anti-doping that former doped riders, like Vinokourov at Astana, remain at the head of teams

It isn't good for the image. For sure Vino has some history and that gives his team a bad image. But it's his country's team, it's difficult to get rid of him. And I think that cycling, given the situation it's in, can't afford to get rid of a team. We're seeing teams fold one after another. If you stop Astana, that's 30 more guys unemployed.

Do you believe in Nibali?

I'll believe in him for the future of our sport. If we're still going to find cheats winning the Tour, the sport can't go on much longer like that. The Tour may well be a great publicity tool for the image of France but eventually the sport will suffer. But I want to trust him.

So you won't win the Tour de France by default ten years from now?

I hope not for the sake of cycling. For me, that wouldn't change anything in my life, but it would change a lot for the sport.

Do you have the same confidence in Froome and Contador

I don't want to answer that. I don't want to talk about individuals. I don't want to turn anyone against me.

You no longer have a right to win when you're a cyclist?

Yes, of course. As soon as you ride a bike, you're suspect. So we count on journalists to relay the message that cycling is a sport like other sports. We're victims of the past.

How do you end the equation cyclist = doped?

It takes time. If during thirty years there aren't any more positives, perhaps then we'll be able to stop asking questions about cycling.
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